June 18,2009

Baucus Applauds TAA in Supplemental

Finance Chairman Touts Funding for Businesses and Communities to Improve Competitiveness, Aid Economic Recovery

Washington, DC – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D - Mont.) today commended the inclusion of $40 million in the Fiscal Year 2009 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill for the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for Communities and TAA for Firms programs. Baucus has been a leader in the development and reauthorization of TAA programs and fought for their inclusion in the Supplemental and as part of TAA reforms in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“This funding will go a long way in helping American businesses and communities confront these tough economic times. The investment we make today in our communities helps them realize a better, more productive future,”Baucus said. “We have worked hard to provide American workers and entrepreneurs with the tools and resources they need, such as job retraining and business development assistance, to compete in the global marketplace. I intend to work with the Administration to ensure these new benefits are rapidly put into action.”

The TAA for Communities program provides grants to trade-distressed communities to develop and implement strategic plans for economic development. TAA for Firms gives small and medium-d firms adversely impacted by trade the finance and technical assistance they need to better compete in the global economy. Both programs are administered by the Department of Commerce.

The Recovery Act improved and expanded TAA in significant ways. TAA will now be available to trade-affected workers in the services sector, which comprises 80 percent of the U.S. workforce, as well as to workers whose jobs shift to all foreign countries, not just countries with which the U.S. has a trade agreement. Training funds available to these workers will increase by 160 percent to $575 million under this measure. The provision also allows for automatic TAA eligibility for workers suffering from import surges and unfair trade, and makes training, healthcare, and reemployment benefits more accessible and flexible. Finally, farmers, ranchers, and fishermen are now eligible for technical assistance for business planning that will help them become more competitive. All TAA programs are now authorized through December 31, 2010.

More information on these programs funded by the FY 2009 Supplemental can be obtained from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce. EDA administers the TAA for Firms and TAA for Communities program. Information and petitions for the TAA for Firms program may be obtained through regional Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers at http://www.taacenters.org/ and on the EDA website at www.eda.gov. The Department of Labor (DOL) administers the TAA for Workers program and is now accepting petitions for the new program. Petitions can be obtained via the DOL website at http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/DownloadPetitions.cfm. The Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the TAA for Farmers program, and information may be obtained via the USDA website at http://www.fas.usda.gov/ITP/TAA/taa.asp.